Mark Twain once declared, "When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what the angels eat." This divine fruit, with flesh ranging from orange to yellow to the standard, beloved pink, encased in a thick green rind, is a warm-weather favorite, whose availability peaks from June through August. The flavor of watermelon doesn't change much with variations in size and color, but baby watermelons tend to stay fresh longer because of their thicker rind. Serve watermelon raw in big slices, chopped into a savory salad, or blended into beverages, cold soup, or sorbet—but unless you're buying seedless (standard for baby and orange-fleshed varieties), don't forget about those pesky pips!

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  • When buying pre-halved or -quartered watermelon, look for a light, sweet fragrance and take care to avoid fruit whose flesh appears to have peeled away from the seeds.
  • Look for whole watermelons that are free of cracks and bruises and that feel heavy for their size.
  • Cut watermelon can be refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for up to three months, while whole watermelon can be kept at room temperature for up to a week or chilled for up to two.

Where to Buy

Pink-fleshed watermelon is a supermarket staple; markets such as Whole Foods carry more unusual varieties. Visit for details on where to find yellow, orange, and baby watermelons in your area.

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